CHURCH DISCIPLINE AND SIN IN THE CHURCH
I Cor. 5
Dr. Jerry Vines
In the first four chapters of I Corinthians the apostle Paul has
dealt with the matter of divisions in the church. The church was
divided. There were chisms in the fellowship. The seamless robe of the
unity of the body of Jesus Christ had been torn and they were divided
into a variety of groups of people. So, for four chapters he has been
dealing with the problem of division in the fellowship. Beginning in
chapter five he is going to deal with the subject of sin in the
fellowship. There was a case of open, flagrant sin in the fellowship
and the apostle Paul meets it head on. The Lord had used Paul to plant
a church in the city of Corinth in order to change that city. That is
exactly why God puts a church where he puts the church. In order that
the city around it might be changed. But rather than the church
changing the city, the city was changing the church. God intends for a
church not to be a thermometer, merely registering the temperature, but
to be a thermostat to change the temperature. Too many churches are
merely the reflections of the society in which they find themselves.
Instead of being salt, instead of being light, they allow themselves to
be influenced by the society around them and they lose their distinctive
Christian testimony. That was the danger in the church at Corinth.
Here was a church that was on the very verge of moral collapse. It was
on the very verge of allowing the world around it to so influence it
that it would have absolutely no testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, Paul, in these verses, lays before us what may be the most neglected
subject in all of the Bible- the subject of church discipline. This is
not the only place you find it. This is not the only place you find it.
Let me just give you a few Scripture references if you would like to
read it on your own -- Matthew 18:15-19; I Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 3:10; I
Thessalonians 5:15; II T ...
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